The camera will help police enforce speeding tickets on I-271 in Mayfield; tickets will be sent by mail

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MAYFIELD, Ohio – Motorists traveling on Interstate 271 in Mayfield may want to check their speedometers – and their desire to drive really fast.

In about 30 days, Mayfield Police will begin using a manual camera on the highway strip they oversee to identify and photograph speeding tickets. The camera, police chief Paul Matias hopes, will be used to slow down motorists on the highway.

“The point here is not to write tickets,” Matias said shortly after the village council on Monday (September 20) unanimously approved the use of the camera. “The goal is to make people slow down. “

With fewer officers on the roads in many communities, a number of motorists since last spring have started driving faster than before the pandemic. The speeds have increased so much, said Matias: “The average speeder we are recording is going at 89 mph. Two years ago it was very rare for us to accuse someone of going so fast. “

The Ohio Department of Transportation noted a 102 percent increase over the past year in vehicles traveling above 85 mph.

“What we’re trying to build is a perception,” said Matias. “The reason people drive like this is because they know there aren’t a lot of officers on the roads right now to enforce traffic, for various reasons, so they don’t. don’t have this perception that ‘I have to drive at a reasonable speed or I’ll get a ticket.’

“And by doing that (camera program), we make it look like if you go through Mayfield Village at 90 mph, you’re either going to get stopped by an officer or we’re going to send you a $ 300 ticket. deterrent effect. “

Safety, for both police and drivers, is at the heart of the new program. The camera will photograph the speeder, then a ticket and a fine will be sent to the car owner without a potentially dangerous roadside check having to be performed.

“We’re basically still doing the same thing that we did (in terms of speeder monitoring),” said Matias. “We don’t just put a camera on the highway that works by itself. The officer is up there (on the highway).

“The only thing we remove is when we take off in traffic, knock the person over and stop the traffic on the side of the road with the traffic passing by. It uses technology to say “OK, we’ve got you,” but instead of chasing you, we’ll just send you a ticket in the mail. “

Fines for speeding will be $ 150 for driving 1 to 19 mph over the 60 mph speed limit, $ 200 for driving 20 to 29 mph over the speed limit and $ 300 to drive at 90 mph (30 mph over the speed limit) or faster.

According to the ordinance, those fined will have 30 days to pay. If payment is not made within this time, $ 20 will be added to the fine. If not paid within 60 days, an additional $ 20 will be added and the fine will be recovered through civil suit or “other appropriate means of collection.”

Mayfield will join Newburgh Heights to use the technology, although Matias points out that Newburgh Heights uses a handheld camera as well as stationary cameras.

“We will constantly evaluate (the effectiveness of the program),” he said. “I will look at the data we collect and as this program progresses we will see if it has an impact. You need a good sample of data.

“Will we see an immediate impact? I do not know. I guess it depends on how many people are aware of it and how seriously they take it. “

The village will pay the Gatso company for the rented camera by sharing 38% of the fines received for its use. Gatso will only receive a share of the fines generated by the camera and will not receive a share of the fines generated by other MVPD law enforcement services.

Mayfield Village border, on I-271 northbound, is located just north of the Ridgebury Boulevard overpass and continues to the Lake County border at White Road. Heading south on I-271, Mayfield begins at Wilson Mills Road and continues just before the Ridgebury Viaduct.

Matias said the app will take place primarily during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

Since car owners will receive the ticket in the mail, a liability transfer will be included in the shipment for cases where the owner was not the person driving when the violation occurred. Gatso will then send a quote to the person driving.

Matias first presented the idea to the village council in June, via a letter, and the council first discussed it in July. The bill was adopted on Monday at first reading.

Success of the cruise evening

The city’s annual Cruise Night, in which vintage cars parade along Wilson Mills Road, took place on Saturday (September 18) instead of its usual June date. The pandemic pushed the event backwards, and recreation director Shane McAvinew feared its three-month delay could lead to a decrease in the number of car owners.

It turned out that such concerns for the 30-year tradition were unwarranted.

“It was a huge success,” said Council Chairman Stephen Schutt. “I think it was the biggest night on a cruise we’ve had, probably ever. It was a fantastic event.

Mayor Brenda Bodnar said: “It was a beautiful evening. It was very busy. We got a lot of compliments in the evening. We also received compliments on the beauty of the village the following Sunday morning. You couldn’t tell that a night cruise had happened the day before.

Bodnar and Schutt thanked all the workers in the village who made the evening a success, as well as the many volunteers at the event.

Read more of the Messenger of the Sun.


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